You are a king and a priest of God's kingdom that shall reign in this life. He has raised you with Christ and seated you in Heavenly places. You are a co-heir of everything Jesus inherited in his resurrection and ascension.
That sounds wonderful, it sounds very spiritual, but what does it mean to you now? Do you actually know how to live within those realities in this present life?
Ultimately the truest expression of your kingship and priesthood as a representative of God on this planet is expressed as you are yielded to the continual leading of God's spirit within you. He will lead you and guide you through a proper expression of your priestly duties and kingly authority.
I'd like to focus on one perspective for the remainder of this article. Under the Old Covenant, priests offered sacrifices for the people as a temporary system of atonement, that was the primary reason and function of priests. The king was to guide the nation of Israel in the precepts and ordinances of God ensuring adherence to God's law.
Under this better covenant, there are no more sacrifices to preside over since Jesus is the once and for all sacrifice. Under the New Covenant Jesus is ruling as the eternal king. So the roles have changed.
Of course, the great commission is a guide for expressing our authority and priestly duties but I believe Romans 14:17 gives us insight into the content of the impact we are to have as representatives of God.
Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Essentially the Apostle Paul is saying, living in God's kingdom isn't about rules and regulations, it's about righteousness, peace and joy. I believe this gives definition to how we exercise our authority as representatives of God. We preside over and rule within righteousness, peace and joy.
We don't preside over sacrifices, we point people to the eternally sufficient sacrifice. Within this sacrifice lies forgiveness, holiness and eternal righteousness. Righteousness simply means "as a man ought to be" and "the condition acceptable to God." If there are no sacrifices to execute and Jesus is the king, we display our kingship by bringing people into a direct experience with righteousness. Essentially, we preach the Gospel. We help people understand faith righteousness.
Peace or shalom is described as a state of wholeness. If a wall had no missing bricks and it is complete, it's in a state of shalom. If a relationship between two people has no issues and noting between them, it's at shalom. We now have peace with God, there is nothing in the way of a relationship with him. He has forgiven everyone through the sacrifice of Christ, now God is pleading to the world through us, "God is no longer holding your sin against you, be reconciled to God."
Joy means cheerful or glad. Once you've properly represented God in righteousness and peace, people will be glad. Encourage them to be cheerful. Encourage them to be thankful. Remind them of the gift of righteousness and bring them into joy. It's not your role to make people happy but you may need to remind them there's reason to be joyful.
It's pretty simple, the Gospel is good news, it's the power to bring people into an experience of God's transformative grace. Represent him well! Start in the mirror, then with your family, friends and coworkers. If the opportunity arises, be aware of your own state of righteousness and peace with God so you can give joy to those whom God's spirit would inspire you to exercise your priesthood and kingship.
Life Group Discussion
1. What did you get out of this message?
2. What does it mean to you to be a king and priest in God's kingdom in this life?
3. Do you feel you can clearly articulate faith-righteousness to people?
4. What's your favorite aspect of the Gospel message?